Most frequently asked questions about buying a real estate in Verber
Can foreigners buy real estate in Switzerland?
The answer is yes, foreigners can buy and own real estate in Switzerland, but there are strict restrictions on who exactly can do this.
Some people have the right to purchase property as any Swiss citizen, whether it’s to have it as your primary residence, holiday home, investment property, or commercial premises.
This applies to you if:
– You hold a Swiss C Permit.
– You are an EU or ERTA national who resides in Switzerland and has a Swiss residency permit.
However, if you hold a Swiss B Permit, you can purchase property but only as a primary residence.
Anyone outside of these categories either isn’t allowed to purchase property or might need to apply for a license to purchase. The licensing criteria vary from canton to canton, but people who have been settled in a specific canton for five or more years are usually favored for these licenses.
Is it possible to get a residency permit when buying a property?
According to the Lex Koller legislation, there are limitations on how foreigners can buy property in Switzerland. This legislation stipulates that, just because someone owns property in Switzerland, that doesn’t give them the right to a Swiss residence permit.
Permits, as well as authorization for purchasing property, are handled differently from canton to canton.
What is the difference between a first residence and a second residence?
Many different factors apply when looking at what kind of residence a foreigner can purchase in Switzerland.
Buying a holiday home
Some foreigners are allowed to purchase a holiday home only with special permission, and it’s important to mention that several factors apply:
– The dwelling must be located in a holiday resort designated by the authorities of the canton, where quotas come into play. Keep in mind that each canton and municipality can add some restrictions of their own.
– In 2011, a people’s initiative limited the construction of second homes. As a general rule, the net floor space of the real estate can’t exceed 200 m2 and the surface area can’t exceed 1,000 m2. If you can prove a need for a larger space, these limits go up to 250 m2 and 1,500 m2 respectively.
– It’s prohibited for a family to have more than one holiday home at a time. If you, your spouse, or a child that’s under 18 already own property in Switzerland, that property must be sold before you make another purchase.
Buying a main residence
Foreigners who aren’t EU or EFTA residents and don’t hold a C permit can purchase property without authorization, but only a single-family house or owner-occupied flat in their place of residence. They can also purchase land to build on, but need to start construction within one year.
In both of these situations, the buyer must live in the property they purchased and aren’t allowed to rent it, even in part.
Even though the buyer can only purchase one residential unit, there are no limitations on the size of the living unit. However, if the property size covers more than 3,000 m2, the land registry will have to intervene and rule on if the purchase is allowed.
The buyer can decide to keep the property as a secondary or holiday residence or even rent it out if they decide to move. Additionally, they can also purchase another home, but only if it’s in a new place of residency and they plan on living in the second home permanently.
It’s strictly forbidden to move just so you can purchase multiple properties without authorization.
Buying a second, non-holiday home
People from states that belong to the European Union or EFTA who commute across the border to Switzerland for work purposes with a G permit are allowed to purchase a secondary home.
This residence needs to be in the area of their place of employment and the buyer is obligated to occupy the residence for as long as they’re employed as a cross-border commuter in the area.
The buyer is forbidden for renting out the property. If the real estate surface area exceeds 1,000 m2, the land registry won’t enter a transaction immediately, but they will refer the property owner to the appropriate authorization body.
Is it possible to get a Swiss passport when living in Switzerland for more than ten years?
If a third-party national wants to become a Swiss resident, they can apply for a C-type permanent residence permit. If this person doesn’t have any family ties to Switzerland (parents or a spouse) or are of certain nationalities, they can apply for this permit after having continuously lived in Switzerland for 10 years.
After 12 years of legal and continuous residence in Switzerland, a resident can make a naturalization application. There are certain instances when a resident may be eligible for the accelerated naturalization process, such as by marriage or by birth.
Everyone who applies needs to show integration with the Swiss society, customs, traditions, and way of life. They also need to be of good character and pose no risk to national security.
It’s also important to note that you don’t have to renounce your current nationality, as Switzerland allows dual citizenship.
How does the financing work and how much down payment do I need to pay?
Switzerland has very strict lending rules which make it practically impossible to get a small deposit on a mortgage. However, when you manage to get a mortgage, the monthly payments are manageable and it’s important to note that Swiss mortgage terms are usually longer than in other countries.
Most of the time, Swiss banks offer a mortgage of up to 80% of the current market value of the property, which means you would need to pay a deposit of 20%. Out of that 20% at least 10% must be paid in cash and for the rest, you can use your pension fund.
As for the repayment period you can expect, they’re rather long and it’s not uncommon for a deal to last between 50 and 100 years.
What is the Lex Weber law really about?
In March 2010, a referendum to accept a popular initiative was voted by the Swiss population. This initiative sought to restrict the construction of new second homes within communes in which more than 20% of accommodations were holiday homes.
The Lex Weber law was spearheaded by Helvetia Nostra and The Franz Weber Foundation and it entered into force on January 1st 2013. This led to almost 2,000 building permits that were granted between March 2012 and 1st January 2013 being blocked.
Can I put my real estate for rent ABC real Estate, and how much return on investment can I expect per year?
Yes, it’s possible to put your real estate for rent with ABC. You can usually expect to cover all charges related to the property such as communal tax, cantonal tax, federal tax, as well as the building charges.
It’s hard to say specifically how much ROI can be expected, as we would need to see the property first and make an expert assessment. This is free of charge, so feel free to contact us to discuss further the process.
What is the standard procedure to rent my chalet?
1. First, you should get in touch with us and tell us about your property.
2. We will then meet to visit the property you want to rent.
3. We make an offer on how much you can expect in return on investment.
We will also be able to manage the property with all the payments of related bills, organisation of cleaners before and after each visit, as well as pre visit check-in and check-out.
Is it possible to renovate my chalet or apartment with ABC real estate, and how long does it usually take?
Absolutely, we have many years of experience and work with the best local handworkers to offer the ideal renovation for your property.
Depending how big the renovation is, we would count between 3 months and 6 months. In case some architectural works are required such as moving walls or making windows bigger, or adding an area to the property, this will take approximately an additional 6 months just to get the authorisation from the local government.
We work closely with many architects. Please contact us to initiate the procedure and discuss further. The initial discussions and assessment are free of charge.
Is the real estate price still going up in Switzerland?
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the house prices of Switzerland were predicted to rise in 2021 as well as 2022, which is very different from other European countries.
Is buying real estate in Switzerland as safe as buying gold?
Many people consider Switzerland as an ideal place to own property due to the country’s stability and excellent quality of life.
If you’re looking for a way to invest your money somewhere safe and enjoy regular returns, real estate is one of your best choices. Owning property doesn’t pay out dividends, but if the cost of renting is higher than the cost of ownership, you will make a return.
A property owner can also profit from gains in the value of their property.
Can my kids attend free public school once I have acquired a property?
Yes, public schools in Switzerland are famous for giving some of the best free education in the world. Going through public school will allow any student to later attend for free the big Swiss universities such as EPFL, EPFZ, HEC Lausanne, HEC St-Gall, as well as any Swiss medical school or law school.
Public school in Verbier is taught in French, which could be great for your kids. However, if you are only here for a couple months a year and are looking for a curriculum taught in English, Verbier has 2 private schools:
Verbier International School
What is the best season in Verbier?
Many people see Verbier as their dream location in Switzerland where all four seasons are wonderful in their own ways, so the ideal time to visit Verbier will vary from person to person.
This is the most popular season in Verbier for tourists, so it’s naturally the busiest and most expensive season as well. It lasts from December to February and it can get quite cold.
However, Verbier can feel relatively warm even when the temperatures are sub-zero as long as the sun is shining. The average daily high temperature during the winter season is below 2°C.
The summer season in Verbier lasts from June through August, this is the warm season during which you can expect slightly higher temperatures. The average daily high temperature is above 14°C but usually below 23°C.
You should be aware of the rainy season, which starts in February and ends in December, which might be an issue for those who don’t like humid climates. However, the weather is still very comfortable and summer is the second most popular season in Verbier. Many people flock to Switzerland in summer to visit the Verbier music festival and take part in other activities.
The spring season in Verbier lasts from March to May and it’s moderately cold with very little rain. Since there isn’t much to do during the springtime in Verbier, it’s not a very popular time for tourists to visit. However, since the ski season lasts until April in Verbier, some tourists still choose the springtime to go on vacation here.
Finally, the fall season lasts from September to November and it’s the least popular time for tourism in Verbier. Even though the ski season officially starts in November and there is snow during the fall season, there is also a significant amount of rain, so skiers tend to avoid this period when visiting Verbier.